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7ke *4cUAe*tt**be*t of P.C49
FROM THE FAMOUS RADIO
series by ALAN STRANKS
PLOT AGA/NSr THE WORLD
A gripping new Serial by Chad Varah
The Ghost from the Sea
JIM suddenly fell himself falling.
He had been strolling home from the Club
with his hands in his pockets, whistling
a popular zither tune that was driving his
family crazy, and gazing up at the sky trying
to identify the Pole Star. ITien be trod on
His feet shot sideways and downwards.
Before he could gel his hands out of his
pockets, he had slid down a chute, giving his
head a crack on (he edge that made him sec
the Pleiades, and dropped several feet on to a
rocky mountain. The avalanche he started
took him with it and went on rumbling and
pelting him even after he'd reached the
bottom with his.
The taste of the grit in his mouth told him
wlial had happened. Some fool had left a
manhole-rover ofl", and Jim was now mixed
up with somebody's coal ration.
Before lie could pick himself up, he saw a
shadow on the grimy whitewashed wall -
evidently cast, from a light in a connecting
cellar. In spite of the grotesque distortion
Jim saw what it was, and he could hardly
believe his eyes. It was a -man with a gun.
He stared as if paralysed at the sinister
silhouette. The shadow began to creep to-
wards him, and he recovered his wits in a
hurry. He hadn't a chance in a million of
being able lo scramble out in time, so he got
to his feet and picked up a huge lump of coal.
He hurled it with all his strength, not at the
approaching figure, which was still around
the corner of the passage, but at the pile of
coal behind him. As a fresh avalanche
started, he yelled at the top of his lungs:
" Come on, chaps! And shoot to kill! "
The approaching shadow faltered The
man, it seemed, was nor aware that his
shadow could be seen. Encouraged, Jim
hurled another lump (it felt like slate), and
"Wait for Tiger -then we'll rush them!"
A shot rang out, terrifying and deafening
in that confined space. In the same moment
Jim tell the pain sear into his knee. As befell,
"They got me, pals! Don't Id "era get
Tenderly his hand explored the injured
knee. He was astounded not lo find it wet
with blood. He waggled the kneecap.
Nothing seemed lo be broken. Then his
hand touched a familiar object - a lump of
slate with a shape he recognised. It had
bounded back when he threw it, and clouted
He gave a whistle of relief. Then he looked
hastily at the wall. The shadow had gone!
Had it ever been there? He could hardly
believe it: and yet his ears still rang with the
sound of the shot. Why wasn't a policeman
peering down the manhole by now, demand-
ing to know "What's all this "ere?"
Jim stood perfectly still, and listened. It
was then (hat he heard it -a sort of scuttle in
the next cellar, and a strange animal sound.
There was something horrible and uncanny
about it, and his skin crawled. He wasn't a
coward, hut he'd had plenty for one night.
The gunman was bad enough, but this - this
slithering, snuffling sound made him think of
some hideous reptile - an alligator, perhaps.
"I'm getting out of this!" muttered Jim.
■ He scrambled up the coal, and managed to
pull himself up on to the chute. But it was
slippery, and lie fell off. As be picked himself
up again, he cast a glance at the wall that was
Cripes! It hui an alligator! Lower down
than the shadow he'd seen at first, crawling
on the floor, was a monstrous shape.
Jim let out a yell and jumped for the chute,
scrambling frantically against the side walls,
and scraping his fingers raw. At last he got a
grip on the edge of 1 he manhole, and hauled
himself up until his head and shoulders were
out in the clean night air.
He was just going to heave himself out of
the hole when be saw a burst of flame at the
end of the street. The bullet whipped past his
head with a "zwoo-EEP" just before he heard
thecrackof the shot. He ducked instinctively,
lost his balance, and fell back into (he cellar.
This time he caught the point of his chin on
the edge of the hole. Just before he lost con-
sciousness he sobbed "O gosh the Thing!"
fN lie came to, he couldn't remember
: first where be was. He was lying on
something soft and warm - and sticky.
He opened his mouth to yell, and then
thought better of it. For there was an un-
mistakable smell right against his nose and a
familiar texture against his mouth.
The smell was boot-polish and the texture
was wool- The contrast between these homely
things and the horror his strained imagination
had pictured was so great that he giggled.
His face was pressed against someone's
shoes and socks, and so far as he knew,
alligators didn't wear either.
Then he slopped giggling. He was lying
on a man, and the man was badly hurt. The
stickiness against his hand was not reptilian
slime but human blood.
Was the man dead?
Jim carefully rolled ofl* him, fell along his
body to his face, and was reassured by the
warm moisture of breathing.
Obviously this must be the victim of the
man with the gun and his accomplices, if any.
And he needed help badly.
But it was too dark in the coal cellar. Jim
crept cautiously round the corner, down a
very short passage and into another cellar,
parallel to the first. It was lit by a hurricane
lamp hanging from a hook in the ceiling.
He could see the marks on the dirty floor
where the man had painfully dragged himself
along. They started from a row of wine-bins
along the passage wall. It looked as if the
man had crawled from one of the bins.
In the wall opposite, an opening led (o a
short flight of steps curving upwards. At the
top he could just see a door, battered but
stout, with a rusty lock. Grumbling under
his breath at the grit that crunched beneath
his feet, Jim stole up the steps and gently tried
(he door. It was locked.
He stood uncertainly for a moment, eyeing
the door. Then he noticed the boll on the
inside, near the top. It was coated with rust.
A long struggle followed before the bolt gave
way to Jim's frantic heaving and shot
suddenly to. He hoped (he corroded Maple
would hold if (be gunman should return.
Swiftly he returned to the wounded man
and again heard the snuffling noise that had
scared him before. The man had recovered
must be gagged ! Jim felt for the man's mouth
and his fingers solved the problem. There
was a sorbo ball in his mouth! He got it
between his finger and thumb and managed lo
pull it out.
For a few moments the man made inarti-
culate noises, then he whispered thickly,
"m'ban's, m'feet, tied." Jim fumbled with
his sore fingers at the knots, glad that in his
days with the Scouts he'd learnt to deal with
knots blindfold. At last his companion was
free. Jim helped him back into the lighted
cellar, and made a rough bandage for the
nasty wound in his shoulder.
He was relieved that it was no worse. Bu(
(he man needed help, for lie had lost a lot of
blood, and his wrists and ankles had been tied
Jim made him as comfortable as he could
against a wall and the man smiled his thanks.
"You a miner?" he asked.
"Certainly," replied Jim. "I'm only
"I said 'miner', not "minor'. You look as
black as a sweep."
"Oh, that," said Jim, looking down rue-
fully at his clothes and hands. "Yes, f don't
know what Mum will say. If it comes to that,
you're pretty filthy too. Did you fall through
the manhole, as well? Some fool left the cover
"No - I was the fool. They chased mc
down into the cellar, and I tried to get out of
the manhole, but they pulled me back. II you
hadn't happened along, they'd have . . . Well,
never mind about that now. Do you think
you could gel me out?"
"I've bolted the cellar door, so I think you
should be safe while I get up through the man-
hole and fetch the police - unless that chap's
Mill shooting. Can't think why they haven't
turned up as it is."
"Not the police, if you don't mind," said
the man, looking up at Jim enigmatically.
"And they are on the job - I heard a police
whistle just as you fell, after the second shot,
before you knocked me out by falling on me.
f don't think there'll be anyone watching the
For Jim, one thing stood out of all this.
"Why not the policeT* be asked. "Arc
you a criminal?"
"No," said the man. He looked Jim
straight in the eye, with such a frank ga/e that
the boy felt inclined to believe him. "I'll tell
you part of the reason later. Can you get
someone who won't talk to help me out and
put me up for the night?"
Jim frowned. Then his face cleared.
"Yes," he said.
Before climbing out of the manhole, Jim
pushed out a large rounded lump of
coal, half expecting it to be shattered by a
bullet. When nothing happened, he dropped
it and climbed out. He found the manhole-
cover, replaced it, and carefully noted which
of the row of bomb-damaged houses it
belonged to before moving off.
He made his way along the street as fast as
he could, limping a little from his bruised
knee and aching from the cracks on his head
and chin. His imagination conjured up
shadowy figures lurking in doorways, and
once from just behind him the long-drawn
howl of a tom-cat sent: shivers down his spine.
At the door of the house he was making for
be paused uncertainly, then turned away and
went round the back alley. There was no
light in (he window, and be wanted to get Ken
without waking his mother. It must be very
late - what on earth would Mum say when he
got home? Especially when she saw the state
Thirty-nine, thirty-seven, thirty-five. No
number on this back gate, but it must be
thirty-three, the one he wanted. Bother, it
was locked. He hoped there was no broken
glass on the yard wall as he leapt and caught
the top with his fingers.
He hauled himself up, one foot on the latch
of the door. But (he wall was too high for a
jump down into the yard. Instead, he walked
along the top, balancing precariously, and
managed to climb on to the slate roof of the
outhouse. As quietly as he could, he crawled
up the roof over the scullery.
He had nearly reached the back bedroom
window when his injured knee gave way, and
he slipped. He clutched wildly at the roof,
breaking the rest of the nails on his sore
fingers, and at last managed to get the side of
his Toot into the gutter to aires! his Tall. As
he thought of the result if he'd fallen flat on
his stomach and nose on to the Rags below, he
shuddered, and blessed the honest workman
who had fixed thai gutter so securely.
He lay for a moment, recovering his senses
and listening. There was no sound except
that of his own laboured breathing. His slide
had made surprisingly link noise.
Resisting the temptation to call it a day and
get down and knock at the door, he crawled
up the roof again. The window he was aiming
for was still open a little at the top, so it
couldn't be latched. He managed to get his
long-suffering finger-tips under the bottom
half of the window, trying to cling to the
sloping roof by vacuum-suction, pressing his
hollow stomach against it. The window
squeaked slightly, but inch by inch he
managed to raise it until the opening was big
enough to get through.
There was no sound from the room. His
eyes had got used to the darkness by now, and
he could faintly make out a hump in the bed'
clothes which told him thai the occupant of
the room was still sleeping soundly.
He put his arms and head through the
window, and got his chest across the sill.
Suddenly the window slammed down on tu
him with such force that it knocked all the
breath out of his body. A moment sooner and
it would have guillotined him.
He shouted, "Ken, Ken! It's me, Jim!"
At least, he thought he shouted, but it was
only a choked whisper from his crushed chest.
Then he passed out for the second time that
night or was it morning, now?
When he came to, he was lying flat on the
floor, and someone was trying 10 pull his
trousers off! Before he could open his eyes,
he felt warm water on his face. When he was
sure he wasn't going to get u soapy flannel in
his eyes he opened them, and looked up.
Ken's sister Pru was squatting by his head in
her pyjamas, bathing his face.
Me made a hasty grab at his trousers, and
heard Ken's voice from somewhere near his
"All right, Jim," it said. "Can't put you
into Pru's bed in these filthy things."
"Bed?" squeaked Jim. '"I can't go to bed
- I've got an urgent job to do."
"Sh, not so loud," whispered Pru. "You
must get to bed you're alt in."
"Pru nearly killed you!" murmured Ken.
He had the cheek to sound slightly amused
"What happened?" asked Jim, trying to sit
up, and groaning as his bruised libs decided
Ken gave another pull at his trousers, but
Jim kept a tight hold. He'd nothing else on
by now except his shirt.
Pru answered demurely:
"I heard someone on the roof, and thought
we had burglars. There wasn't time to get
anyone - [hey all steep like the dead . . ."
"Good thing, too!" interjected Ken.
"Keep your voice down, for Heaven's sake!"
"And in any case," continued Pru more
quietly, "I thought the man might be armed
and it would be better to lake him at a dis-
"You certainly did!" complained Jim.
"So 1 crept out of bed, arranged the pillow
to look like someone asleep, grabbed the
cricket bat Ken had left ftere when we
changed rooms, and flattened myself against
the wait near the window."
"Some girl !" grunted Jim admiringly.
"How is it you didn't knock my head off" with
"She didn't want to kill the chap," ex-
plained Ken. "[fshe'd knocked him silly he'd
probably have fallen off the roof and killed
"Besides," said Pru, "I've always wanted
to guillotine someone with a window - nasty
of me, [ know."
"Look here, 1 ' said Ken, "we're the ones
that want some explanation. Who's been
beating you up . . .
"Apart from me," put in Pru slyly, trans-
ferring the soapy flannel from Jim's ears to
his hands and arms to his great relief.
"And what did you want me for, and when
did you become a Bcvin boy? You said
nothing about it at Ctuh to-night."
"I'll tell you as we go," said Jim. "I've
wasted too much time already, but 1 couldn't
stand until now."
He tried to get up, but even with Pru's help
he could only stagger to the bed and sit on it.
"You can't now," commented Ken. He
gave a push at Jim's chest, whipped off his
trousers, and had him tucked into bed before
he knew what was happening.
"Now you'll stay there if I have to slug
you!" growled Ken threateningly. "If there's
anything to be done. Pru and I will do it."
Jim was about to protest, but looking at
Ken's face he could see it would be a \- aste of
time. And, boy ! did it feel good to be in bed.
Quickly he told them what had happened
to him. He couldn't have wished for a better
audience. Their goggling eyes and gasps of
astonishment and sympathetic honor as he
described the shadow that had looked and
sounded like an alligator made him feel for
the first time that it was good to be in for
some excitement even if he had got knocked
about. As soon as he mentioned the wounded
man. Ken broke in.
"Hang on a minute," he said.
He nipped out of the room. Pru just had
time to whisper "You were jolly brave, Jim!"
and Jim to reply "What about you, you
bruiser?" when Ken returned carrying his
clothes and a first aid box, and a pyjama
jacket which he threw at Jim. He snapped
out the light, and said to Jim : "You can talk
while we're dressing."
Jim painfully hauled off his shirt, wriggled
into the jacket, and continued his story. By
the time he had finished his friends were ready.
"Don't worry, Jim." said Ken. -We'll
look after your pal -and keep mum about it:
Dick Jtawlings at the garage wilt help us -
he's on all night, and he'll have a rope and
lend a car. I'm sure his wife will give the chap
a bed. You can go to sleep and don't worry -
Pru'll go to her old bedroom when we get
back, and as there isn't room for two in this
bed, I'll sleep downstairs on (he couch - if
there's any of the night left!"
Ken spoke rapidly and decisively, and Jim
Tell confident that he and Pru could handle
the situation, with Dick's help. Jim closed
his eyes with a sigh, and was asleep almost
before they shut the door.
They crept cautiously downstairs and out of
the frontdoor: then they raced for the garage.
"Why do girls bang their knees together
and kick their legs up sideways as they run?"
wondered Ken aloud.
"Keep your mind on your own legs.
Bandy," retorted Pru. forging ahead.
They told Dick enough for him to get out
a small van. The young median*: was a
Northerner and betrayed no excitement or
surprise. All he said as they drove oil* was:
'"Pru, sit on yer brother's lap if ye can't keep
yer knobbly knees out o' my gear lever."
"They're very nice knees, Grumpy," pro-
"Ah'll put ye across my knee, young
woman, if this 'ere is a leg pull,"
They had no difficulty in finding the man-
hole as it was the only one of its type in the
street. Dick prized up the cover and led the
way into the clammy cavity beneath. He had
brought a torch and it didn't take them long
to be sure there was no-one there. The
cellars were as Jim had described them, but
there was no lamp and the door at the top of
the steps was locked but not bolted.
"So ye were havin* me on," growled Dick
ominously. He made a dive for Pru to carry
out his threat, but slopped as he trod on
something springy. It was a sorbo ball; and
except for recent grime it looked as if it had
"We'd better get out o' this," said Dick
grimly. He gave Pru a teg up and hauled Ken
alter him and drove them back to his garage.
"This 'ere is a job for the police," he pro-
"But the man asked -" said Pru.
"Ah'm teuin" ye."
"He may be Secret Service," suggested Ken.
"We'll talk about it in the mormif . Now
buzzoff'ome and keep out o" mischief if ye
"You'll not ring them up tonight?" begged
"Not till I've spoke to Jim myself. Now
"Tlianks, Dick - you're a sport."
They ran off as lie turned back to his work.
As they approached their street. Ken said,
"You cut along home. I'll just see if there's a
light in Jim's house and if there is I'll tell his
mother not to worry."
"All right," said Pru, yawning. "Don't
forget you're sleeping downstairs."
She ran off towards her home. Just before
she reached the front door a car drew up
beside her. Two men sprang out and seized
her. Before she could utter a sound, some-
thing soft was pressed over her mouth and
nose and she was smothered with a sweet
sickly smell. She struggled frantically but
was helpless. Just before she lost conscious-
ness she fett her ankles bang against the
running-board as she was dragged into the car.
Jim awoke with a start. Someone was
climbing in at the window. It was too late
to do Pru's guillotine trick, even if he had
been in any condition to move swiftly.
He felt for the pear-shaped switch of the
light over the bed, and pressed it. The
sudden light dazzled him, as it did the in-
truder. He was standing by the foot of the
bed with his hair welly plastered down and
water dripping from it down his face.
It was someone he recognised, someone
he knew well, someone he loved and admired.
It was his cousin Ray.
And the reason why his blood froze as he
opened his mouth for a, shriek which the
man's wet hand quickly stifled, was that Kay
was dead. He'd been dead two years. His jet
aircraft had crashed somewhere in the sea oil"
Iceland, and the wreckage had been found.
The report said there could not possibly have
been any survivors.
Did ghosts feel as solid as the clammy
hands that gripped him?
To be continued next arcek
The story of a
& of the many
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THE END OF
A SHORT HISTORY OF WRITING
No. i Prehistoric picture writing
Thousands of years ago primitive man How dirlcicni ii is today when the
experienced ihe urge to record rbt things invention of the Biro ballpoint pen makes
lie saw around him by means of simple recording in words or pictures so quick,
pictures wratrhnd on the walk of caves, so easy and so perfectly dear. "
These cxampksrf man's earliest attempts Am you v^ a Biro — t1k modern way
to create a permanent record are to be rf ^^ and ,he heat ?
found in many parts of the world.
The tools available for the purpose n
crude by moi
e surface of (be softer
PENFOI rO«B THOUGHTS
face this paper
fowords a mirroA
X3T23H3HAM .1 1
ajTcA3W3M -I 1
DMK1A3J1 X L
THE SPIES WHO SAVED LONDON
DO YOU remember the flying bombs
and the rockets? ITyou lived in the
London region in 1944, the answer
is a big Yes. But did you also know
this - that whereas the bombs and rockets
came ovt r on an average of a hundred a day,
' the Germans had planned to send a thousand
a day? And that their campaign started sis
months late? Why? Because we were
The story I have to tell you, now revealed
for the first lime, records one of the most
important spy episodes of the war.
In September, I93S. I was riding round the
Baltic on a bicycle, and arrived at the
German island of Riigen. There I strayed by
accident into an enclosed area, and was
arrested. I was released after a few hours,
and politely escorted from the district.
However, in my brief spelt at large I had
noticed a few things. There were huge frag-
ments of concrete scattered about. One was
shaped in a semi-circular hollow, with a
narrow drain down the centre.
I talked with local villagers. They des-
cribed explosions, followed by queer noises
between a swish anil a rumble tike an
express train, they said. At one time some-
thing had evidently gone wrong, whole con-
voys of ambulances had left the area.
I could make little of this myself, but
experts in London did. The Germans were
experimenting with rockets! The concrete
was pan of a launching platform, and it was
evident that rockets were bursting as soon as
they left their launching galleys. I came to
the conclusion that even in 1938 we knew
quite a lot about the German experiments!
Later, from German friends, I learned that
attempts had even been made to fire man-
carrying rockets. The first "volunteer' was a
convict, promised his freedom if he would
make the experimental trip, fie did not live
to enjoy his pardon.
From time to time more information came
in. Our agents picked up bits and pieces of
news, and clever men fitted them together like
a jigsaw puzzle.
p Now when France collapsed in 1940 our
Secret Service received a nasty blow. Fortun-
ately, the Nazis played into our hands by
taking millions of foreigners to work in
Germany. These French, Czechs and Poles
were our friends, a wonderful recruiting
ground for spies.
The scene changes to the Polish capital.
Warsaw, in 1941. A small group of Polish
"volunteers' was about to leave for Germany.
As they gathered for a farewell party, a friend
took some of them on one side.
"I don't know where you're going, but
keep your eyes open," he said. " Write to me
occasionally, and if you're on the track of
anything important, bring in the phrase, 'I
wonder how old Auntie Katya likes this
weather.' Leave the rest to" me. Under-
Thcy did. They knew that their friend was
a Polish Resistance leader - but they did not
know that he was also a British agent.
The forced 'volunteers" went off to Ger-
many, and were moved from job to job. At
last some of them were transferred to a plant
on the Baltic, named Pcencmiinde. From
casual conversations they gathered thai it was
an unusual place - an experimental plant.
Our men were employed on labourers' jobs
- stoking furnaces, digging foundations, and
soon. But they could and did keep their eyes
and cars open. The time came when one of
the Poles wrote his letter mentioning Auntie
Three weeks passed. Then an otTicer
arrived - in German uniform. He was from
the branch of the German Todl organisation
responsible for the recruiting and welfare of
foreign workers. He was also a Polish spy,
working in liaison with the British!
"Well, what have you got'. 1 "' he asked of
the man who had an aunt named Katya.
"Something queer going on at this place.
It's a Luftwaffe factory - an experimental
place. I've heard rockets mentioned more
than once, and one of our men saw in a shed
small aircraft, with one engine - but with no
plate for a pilot."
"Ah! We're on to something!"
"Yes, I think so. Of course, it's very
difficult for us to get really inside - the build-
ings are very carefully guarded."
'"Take any risks you like. AndyouciuiAJdo
I his - make out some sort of map of the plant."
"Yes, we could do that. Two of our men
are camp scavengers - they get all around."
"Good. Mark the buildings which are
most important. And mark also the offices
and homes of the technical experts. A job
like this depends entirely on brains. If we
knock out the key men, we can stop the work."
When Mr. Winston Churchill spoke later
in Parliament on July 6th, 1944 - after the
arrival of the first dying bombs - he said:
"Ouring the early months of 1 941 we received
through our many and varied intelligence
sources reports that the Germans were
developing a new long-range weapon with
which they proposed to bombard London."
Seldom in history has a prime minister
acknowledged the work of his spies!
Mr. Churchill continued: "In August last
the full strength of Bomber Command was
sent out to attack these installations."
The raid on Peencmunde was one of the
biggest of the war. Every bomber which
could fly was allocated to the job. The
experimental factory was utterly blasted. Not
only were buildings destroyed, but dozens of
technical experts were killed including
General Jeschonek, Chief of Staff of the
Luftwaffe. The plan supplied by the Polish
workmen had indeed been complete!
Yet espionage has no end. The Germans
would not halt because of one disaster. From
foreign workers all over Germany came more
reports -fragments of tfe jigsaw puzzle. One
factory was manufacturing this, another that
and experts recognised both as parts of a
Now the scene changes again. Poles living
near Mielec reported an unusual factory
nearby. It was especially heavily guarded.
No trains entered its extensive grounds by
day, but by night came trains of extra-large
wagons with an armed guard in every truck.
A Polish Intelligence officer from the
Underground Army arrived. He began to
interrogate the engine drivers who brought
the trains. Then, working at the other end,
he found a Frenchman who had managed to
get inside the German factory concerned.
At one time the factory had been engaged on
'radiosondes' delicate radio sets to be
attached to balloons which would float over
England, and which would automatically
emit details of our weather conditions. Now
the production had changed. The French-
man reported that he heard a technician say,
"We must know the time at which they ex-
plode. Then we shall know whether they
have reached Iheir destinations."
The next fragment of the jigsaw puzzle was
picked up at Rejowice, near Lublin, also in
Poland, about 200 miles from that guarded
camp at Miclac. A mysterious bomb
exploded, doing heavy damage - and a party
o^ German technicians arrived to make an
In a quiet house in Kensington, British
experts were comparing reports. They
noticed that, very shortly before the explosion
at Rejowice, agents at Mielec had reported
the discharge of a strange weapon - 'like an
aircraft, but with a light in its tail.'
"More information! Scraps of the projec-
tile - anything!" was the signal sent to the
Polish agents. 'Iheir task was very difficult,
for the Germans held every advantage. But
fragments of the bomb were collected by
dozens of amateur spies.
Then came a piece or luck : any real spy will
agree that luck is often a vital factor in the
Battle of Brains. It was already obvious that
the Germans were trying out their new
weapons. Then one day a flying bomb fell
near a village near the River Bug - and it
failed to explode!
The Polish Underground had warned all
its agents to look out for the new missiles.
Immediately the local men rushed to the
scene. They found the flying bomb. As it
was too big for normal methods of conceal-
rneni, tficy pushed it into the river!
Then, when the German team of scientists
scoured the district, they could not find the
bomb. As soon as safe, the Poles hauled it
out of the river. Polish technicians came from
Warsaw. They photographed the flying
bomb, examined its mechanism, and compiled
a detailed report. This was handed to a man
who appeared to be a Swedish seaman. So he
was, but he had a spare-time job as well. He
carried the report from Stettin to Sweden
between the rubber and the canvas of his sea
It reached London safely. That same
night the BBC's Polish programme contained
the phrase: "Hitler is not satisfied with paper
i wants the real thing. Well, so
The Poles understood. They conveyed the
essential parts of the bomb's mechanism,
weighing nearly a hundredweight, to a forest
in Southern Poland. Here was a clearing -
two years earlier it had been used by German
fighters as an emergency landing ground.
'Operation Whitehall' was planned. It was
difficult, for German soldiers were on a road
less than a mile away, and others were
billeted in nearby villages.
An R.A.F. Dakota was ordered to fly from
Italy. Just as a suitable day arrived, a
German fighter squadron landed without
warning on ttie abandoned clearing! The
anxiety of the Poles on the spot can be
imagined. Plans for warning the Dakota
pilot were hastily improvised. But for-
tunately the Germans flew away.
So the Dakota landed safety, soon after
midnight - with only a dozen peasant
farmers' oil-lamps as its flare-path. The parts
of the flying bomb, with a technician in
charge, were loaded.
Now the luck changed. As the Dakota
made its take-off run, it struck a soft patch
of ground and its wheels were bogged.
Imagine the scene. Within half a mile were
hundreds of Germans the sound of their
lorries could clearly be heard.
It was a hard decision, but the pilot judged
that he must destroy his aircraft, apparently
hopelessly embedded. He had actually begun
to pour petrol over it, when the Polish tech-
nician stopped him. From adjacent farms
more peasants were collected. With spades
and bare hands they dugout the aircraft. Just
before dawn the Dakota look off.
It reached Brindisi in Italy and thence the
precious secret was rushed to London. There
experts reconstructed the latest type of V.I,
Thus, although the flying bombs and
rockets were formidable, at least we were
ready for them. Further, now we knew the
secret, we were able with our friends to
organise a vast scheme of sabotage in the
factories where the missiles were being made.
I can now return to the point from which
I started out. The Germans planned to send
a thousand V.lsand V.2saday, but sent only
a hundred: and tltey started six months late.
Can you imagine the effects of the original
plan, if it bad succeeded? London suffered
enough as it was, but six months extra and a
tenfold attack would have made it necessary
to evacuate the capital. Millions of people
would have been dispersed all over the
country. The confusion might have length-
ened the war by a year.
But the German plan did not succeed in
full. Why? The principal answer is the
colossal R.A.F, raid on Peenemunde. We
give full credit to Bomber Command for Ihi-
great exploit, which cost 41 aircraft. Yet I
suggest that we must give even greater credit
to the spies who told the R.A.F. where and
when to go.
PROFESSOR BRJTTAIN EXPLAINS: RADAR
AS YOU CAN SEE ON THIS DIAGRAM, /
THE CATHODE- TUBE HOUSES AN
ELECTRON GUN WHICH FIRES A
THIN STREAM OF ELECTRONS AT
THE. FLAT END OF THE TUBE.THIS
IS COATED ON THE INSIDE. WITH
A CHEMICAL WHICH GLOWS AT THE
SPOT WHERE. IT IS STRUCK B\
ELECTRONS —THE PLATES MARKED ft
'fli WAGGLE THE. ELECTRONS ABOUT
SO THAT THEV TRACE A'PICTURE'of SOUND WAVES B
Write to Professor Brittain. c/o e a g l e , if you have any questions or problems you would like him to deal with. He will be on this page every fortnight.
SETH AND SHORTY - COWBOYS
THE NEW GAS TURBINE-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE
A new-emner in British Railways 11ml will ran on (lie Western Kt'gion Suction
Length 711 f|. Weight 1 17 ions.
KEY TO CYCLE OF OPERATIONS
I . Air entry from grill Ml side i>f ImuoioliN. 2. I urbuw air < 'omprcssor. 3. ( impressed
air pipe to prc-hcaler. 4. ( «mpr«*scd air passes through pipes of prr-hcater which arc
healed by cvhausl gases. 5. Oil fuel spray no/./k. 6. Air and fuel are miscd and tired
in C bustion chamlwr. 7. Igniter for starting up. 8. Flame lube. 8. tins turbine.
driven by expanding bol gases, drives the air riimpressiir and generator through main
shaft. 1(1. llul exhaust gases passing upwards between lubes of [ire -healer. 1 1. Kxhausl
gases to atmosphere. A. Kcdaclion gears driving generator. H. (rtiKrulor nliieh produees
electric power loi driving Ihc motors, t I li eli m cables to tnolors . UX.FA'. hlcctric motors
.-.M.lri.1 ear i-arli end,
BY DANET, DUBRISAY, GENESTRE
GOSH ,' IT'S JOLLV liiJOP
TO BE HOME AOAla* FROM
HEROES OF THE CLO
WEIL, WE HAD BE
next weei< ' J
ih« \ -i •"'
REAL LIFE MYSTERIES
THE LOST LI NCR
They teuoched I he Warmak on (he Clyde in
theeariy spring of 1908. The men who built
her said she was a. line ship. She made her
maiden voyage in November, 1908.
On 27lh April 1909 the Waratah sailed for
Australia. On her homeward run via South
Africa, she steamed into Durban on the 25th
July. Site took on 250 tons of coat, increased
i 92 and sailed for Capetown
At sunrise on (he morning of 27th July, the
Waraiuk overlook a big freighter, the Clan
Marlatyre, also steaming down the coast.
Neither ship had wireless. They spoke with
" What ship are you? " asked the Clan
" WaiattA, bound for London."
" Clan Maelntyre here," answered the
freighter. " Also bound London. Goodbye."
The officers on the Ckm Maclntyre'x
bridge watched the big liner disappear over
the horizon ahead. They were the last men
lo see the Waratah. Nothing more was ever
heard of her.
Three warships searched for her. A ship
named the Severn hunted for more than a
month and covered 2.700 miles. Another
ship, the Sabine, chartered by the Waratali's
owners, cruised for 90 days and covered
1 5,000 miles. The Sabine even explored the
empty seas towards the Antarctic.
The Waratah bad passed five separate in-
spections for sea-worthiness. The builders,
the owners, the Board of Trade, Lloyds, the
Emigration Authorities, had all carefully
The liner's disappearance is as much a
mystery today as it was on that July morning
forty-one years ago.
Another Real Life Mystery soon:
The White Queen of the Sahara -^,.
One of the most brilliant forwards thai ever came from Scotland . . .
Here's MY tvay
to cross a road"
■mm ntt m
" It's a forward's job to break
through on the football held.
He must be able to dodge the
defence- and have plenty of dash.
But dodging and dashing is just
asking for trouble when you're
crossing a road. Here's my way:
1 At fae kerb— HALT.
2 Ryes — RIGHT.
3 Eyes — LEFT.
4 CbwenBaat RIGHT.
5 Ifall dear— QUICK MARCH.
" No need to run, because I wail
until there is a real gap in the
" In Soccer, you go aH out to win ;
so of course you lake risks — it
would be pretty dull otherwise '. But
traffic's oat a game. By taking a
chance, you may get killed, or kill
someone else. So just use your head,
remember you're part of the traffic,
team to be a good Road Navigator,
and cross ewrr road the
Kerb Drill way.
Tha earth \
chanced, rocks shifted and
these decayed plants be-
e buried deeper and deeper. Alt this
j chemmlvei were changing — into the
1 we bum on our fim today.
CAN TOO 8U* COAL IN A
WHAT 15 THE LARGEST COCOA CUP
IN THE WORLD?
WHICH OUEEN tawa
I COAL FIRES?
MAKING YOUR OWN MODEL RACING CAR
(a) ENGINE, CLUTCH AND
ED. Flywheel Clutch
(U\ SHOWING THE GROUPING
OF THE COMMERCIAL COMPONENTS
EMPLOYED IN THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THIS MODEL. NOTE THE METHOD
WHICH WILL B£ ADOPTED FOR
INSTALLATION OF THE GEARBOX.
A WORKING SCALE MODEL By
a.W. ARTHUR - BRAND
Associate Editor, The Modd Engmecr
You con make For yourself an
actual working model of this famous
ERA. racing car if you follow these
drawings and instructions each
The only parte you need to buy
are the motor Ply wheel-clutch unit,
back axle and rood wheels , If you
want to know where to get them
and how much they cost, wite to
the Editor, EAGLE, 4-3 Shoe Lone. EC4
enclosing a stamped , addressed
Next hme (in a fortnight) « e
shall start t+ie actual budding of
the model. The Sketch on the
right shows the items to be made
and the motencilsj with th&ir'raw'
dimensions, we shall need.
The tools you will r>eed are. J—
a_fref saw, a simple bond drill with
'/si '"eh bit and a sheet each of
3 -Fine sandpaper.
Base, ^xlZ** 2^4 Resin Bonded Plywood
Lammafcs.Vi^xSV^'l' Resm Bonded Ply wood.
Side members, HL * 15-Sj'j. I '4 Resin B«»-led Plywood.
S.H.MORTE.NSE.N WHS BORN RT
DURHAM IN 1921 HMD PLAYED IN THE.
TOWN TEAM AT TWELVE-
BLACKPOOL SIGNED HIM WHEN H&
INJURED WHILE IN THE R.A.F. IT
UlflS THOUGHT HE WOULD NEVER PL«y
IN BUT WAS SOON PLAYING IN HIS FIRST
GAME FOR ENGLANO.
HIS BEST PERFORMANCE WAS FOR ABERDEEN
SELECT ELEVEN V. THE ARMY. HE PLAyED
CENTRE FORWARD OPPOSITE STAN.CULLIS AND
ALTHOUGH BEATEN 5 TO -4 MORTENSEN SCORED.
ALL FOUR GOALS.
MORTENSEN IS PROBABLY THE
FASTEST MAN WITH THE BALL IN
PRESENT Ony FOOTBALL.
A DYNAMIC INSIDE FORWARD
AND A TERRIFIC SHOT WITH EITHER FOOT.
THE EAGLE CLUB
AND EDITOR'S PAGE
14 April 1950
The Editor's Office
43 Shoe Lame, LomIqh,EC4
EA G 1. E , as you em sec, is an entirely
new kind of strip-cartoon paper - and
ii looks as if there is going to be a very
big demand for it. So I suggest you
ask your newsagent to order a copy for you
cadi week. At the bottom comer of this page,
you will find a form which you can cut out
and hand to your newsagent. If you want to
make sure of your copy fill it in straight away.
I'm suns you will agree that eagle is really
good value for ltd. We are using only the
best authors and the best artists.
The eagle club is going to be one of
the most important features in the paper and
we've got a pile of ideas for making it a really
good Club to join.
It has very definite aims and standards. To
begin with, a member has to agree to the Club
Rules. Here are the most important of them :-
Members of (he eagle club will:
* (a) Enjoy life and help others to enjoy lire.
They will not enjoy themselves at the
expense of others.
(b) Makeihebestofthcmselves. Theywill
develop themselves in body, mind and
spirit. They will tackle things for them-
selves and not wait for others to do
things for them.
(c) Work with others for the good of all
(</) Always lend a hand to those in need of
help. They will not shirk difficult or
The other main aims are: fir*/, to link
together those who read and enjoy eagle.
Second, to organise meetings, expeditions,
holidays, camps, etc, for members. ilwrf,to
make special awards to members who achieve
anything really worthwhile.
This is what you do to join the Club.
Send to the Editor at the above address,
(I) your name and address; (2) your age and
date of birthday ; O) your school and club (il
you belong to one) and (4) a postal order for
one shilling Especially don't forget to tell
us your birthday.
In return we will send you : (1) The eagle
badge, made in gilt, nice the one drawn
here, (2) A Charter of Membership. (3) The
Club Book of Rules.
The badge is really first-rate
- and all those who join the
Club within the next four
weeks, Uk, before 14th May,
will be able to got it as part of
the 1/- membership fee. After
four weeks, new members will
have to send an extra 6d. to
pay for the badge. So send in
your application right away.
The firsl 100 members lo join will get a
special prize. They are to be divided into
four groups of 25 according to where they
live. Twenty-five living in the South of
England will be taken free to Farnborough
Air Display on July Slh. Twenty-five living
in the Midlands will go lo Silverstone Grand
Prix Races on May 13th. Twenty-five from
the North of England to a Test Match
against the West Indians; and twenty-five
from Scotland to the Highland Games. The
younger members will be invited to bring one
parent or guardian free of charge.
The winners will be those 100 members
whose applications for membership arc
Opened first, on Wednesday, April 19th.
Then there will be, from
time to time special ex-i
peditions for selected mem- 1
bcrs - for example, a
to the T.T. races in
Isle of Man, to the Edin-
burgh Festival, to
Monte Carlo Rally, tc
1951 Festival of Britain, and lo interesting
places abroad. There will be something to
suit all tastes and interests.
But joining the Club is only the first step.
There's a second special kind of membership.
This second step is to become a mug.
That may sound a rather strange thing to
become. This shortly is what it's all about.
There are really only two kinds of people
in the world. One kind are the muos. The
opposite of the mugs are the Spivs also
called wide boys, smart guys, hooligans, louts
The mugs are the people who are sonic
use in the world; the people who do some
thing worth-while for others instead of just
grabbing for themselves all the time.
Of course the spivs snigger at thai. They
use the word Mug as an insult " Aren't they
mugs? " they say about people who believe
in living for something bigger than themselves.
That is why someone who gets called a
Muti is likely to be a pretty
good chap. For one thing,
he's got to have guts
because he doesn't mind
being called a mug. He
tikes it. He's the sort who
will volunteer for a difficult
or risky job and say cheer-
fully, "Alright, I'll be the Mug." That
doesn't mean, be is stupid. It means he's got
the right ideas and doesn't think it is at all
clever to be a spiv-type, like the gentleman
we have drawn here.
So when you join the eagle club the
next step is lo become a mug. We shall then
send you a special badge to attach to the
ring at the bottom of the eagle badge.
And there are many special privileges
arranged for mugs which we'll tell you about
But you cannot become a mug just by
writing to us. You have got to do something
to earn it and someone - not yourself - has
got to tell us about it.
knows you - say, a school teacher. Club
leader, and so on - writes to us and suggests
your name, we shall go into it carefully and,
if you really qualify, award you a badge and
One of the privileges that mugs will have
is to be invited to take a hand in running the
eagle club and eagle. At regular
intervals, we shall be calling an editorial
conference in London, to which we shall
invite selected Mugs. They will be able to
meet the Editor and his artists and writers
and discuss the whole policy of the paper.
Of course, there are thousands of Mugs
already - the great Mugs of history. People
like Scott of the Antarctic, who gave his life
to discover new lands; or Michael Faraday -
people said he was talking nonsense when he
said that electricity could "be used lo serve
man; or tlie Curies - people said they were
wasting their time when they were working
to isolate radium.
Here, for example, is a picture of c
famous Mug:— J. L. Baird.
People laughed at
him when he started
to suggest that there
could be such
thing as television, i
They wanted him to
give up trying -
fortunately for u
Perhaps your pic-
ture may appear
here one day. Each
month we shall pick
the MUG OF THE.
month and publish his or her photograph.
And at the end of the year, there'll be a
special" do ' laid on for the mugs of the year.
Don't forget to write and tell us what you
think of eagle.
Send in your answers to: The Editor, eagle,
43 Shoe Lane, London, ec4. ami mark the envelope
" Competition." Don't forget to include your name,
address and age.
1. STRIP CARTOON STORY We are always on the look-oul for bright
ideas about stories lo make into strip cartoons. There will be a prize of a 10/6
National Savings Certificate to the sender of the best suggestion for a suitable story
It must be an original slory that you have made up yourself and what we want is
an outline of die plot in not more than 300 words. Last date for entries is April 26lh.
2. PICTURE CROSSWORD
To solve the puzzle use the
Block Letter and the first
letter of each object drawn.
You have lo find tlie seven
words running across the 2
puzzle. The dues at the
side will help you. ,
/. Fruit-growing town
2. Living beings
3. A Wild Flower
4. A Bird
5. Another Bird
6. Species of Shark
7. English Seaport
A prize of 1016 is offered
for the first correct solu-
tion opened on April 26th.
Cut this out -T
To my Newsagent: please order eagle
for me every week until further notice
HAND THIS FORM TO YOUR NEWSSOYOR
TAKE IT TO YOUR NEWSAGENT'S SHOP
Lash Lonergan's Quest
By MOORE RAYMOND
LASH LONERGAN will now
attempt to ride Thunderbolt!"
The announcer's voice rang across the
Sydney Showground, and a buzz of excite-
ment swept through the crowd of 60,000
peonlc who lined the arena - tier upon tier
under the blazing Australian sun.
'Thunderbolt's a killer!"
"(..ash Lonergan's not much more than a
"Just twenty, but he's the greatest rider
since Snowy Baker away back in the twen-
"That stallion has killed three men
All eyes were on the slim, wiry young man
who was perched on the rails of the mounting
yard away over in the corner.
Lash Lonergan looked down on the wicked
black stallion and smiled. It was a Hashing
gay smile that belied the fierce pumping of his
Thunderbolt snorted and strained at the
ropes, flattening his ears and showing the
whiles of his evil eyes. His hind hooves
lashed out viciously, thudding on the timber
"Ready?" As the announcer called across
ihe arena, the great crowd became silent.
lash tugged his broad-rimmed hat a little
tighter. "Thunderbolt," he muttered through
grilled teeth, "here comes your boss."
Shouting "Okay!" to the announcer, he
snatched the reins, dropped from the rail into
the saddle, and fell for the stirrups as the
handlers let the horse go.
Away swung Ihe gate, and Thunderbolt
plunged into the arena.
"One!" called the timekeeper.
— The horse became a mad beast. Head
down and back arched like a wildcat, he went
buck -buck -bucking across the arena, sending
up clouds of dust.
With body tensed yet flexible as a steel
spring. Lash stayed in the saddle.
Already the crowd was murmuring its
admiration while it wondered how long such
skill would last.
Thunderbolt redoubled his frantic efforts,
leaping and twisting his body in the air, so
that Lash was almost wrenched from tlie
Thousands began to cheer. Thousands
more stood up to watch such horsemanship.
Thunderbolt squealed with anger. Only
Lash heard the danger signal, as the noise
was drowned by the roar of the crowd.
Never before had they seen such a sight as
this raging devil-horse hurling himself into
the air, contorting himself in fury.
The cheers were redoubled till Ihe whole
arena seemed to tremble with the noise.
Jarred and dizzy, with dust choking his
throat and gritty in bis teeth. Lash was almost
thrown time and time again.
Lash felt a shudder go through the half-
crazed horse. Then Thunderbolt squealed
again - a horrible, evil sound.
Now (he wildly cheering thousands sent a
tornado of sound across the arena. Then, in
a second, the noise turned into a great gasp
of fear and dismay.
Thunderbolt reared up and hurled himself
backwards, intending to crush his rider. But
Lash was ready. He kicked away the
stirrups, thrust at the pommel, and flung him-
self free. As Thunderbolt crashed almost on
lop of him, he rolled away to safety and
sprang to his feet.
Though ready to reel with dizziness and
shock. Lash pulled himself together and
walked calmly towards the competitor's box
while the stewards rode in and took charge of
the sweating, snorting, limping Thunderbolt.
"Ladies and gentlemen, that is the end of
the buck-jumping contest. It is also the end
of all horsemanship contests this year for the
title of Champion of Champions.
"For the first time in the history of these
shows, one man has won alt four contests.
First in the stockwhip contest, first in Ihe
eat tic-drafting contest, first in the fancy
riding contest, and first in the buck-jumping
contest . . . Lash Lineri-an!"
Once more the cheering broke out as Lash
came cantering into the arena on his own
splendid horse, Monarch. Pure black except
for a white "sock" on each fool, the horse
pranced as if proud of the young man who
rode him with such natural grace.
Lash bowed to the cheering thousand! and
flashed his bright, boyish smile as he cantered
across to the Governor-General's box.
A light touch of the bit on Monarch's
mouth reined the horse before the flower-
decoraied box. As was the custom, the
Governor-General rose from his seat and
bowed to the Champion of Champions.
As Lash bowed in return, his hand went to
the coiled stockwhip that hung at his belt.
He jerked it free and flicked wide the plaited
Crack -crack -crack-c rac k ! It was swift and
brilliant whipwork of the kind that had
earned him the nickname of Lash as well as a
reputation for such skill throughout the land.
So, lo the accompaniment of tremendous
applause, Australia's champion horseman
lumed and went riding from the arena . . .
riding into an adventure more exciting than
anything he had ever dreamed about.
ftabhergastin' boy, you've
been and gone and done it!" cried
Rawhide O'Reilly, hitching up his dusty
corduroy trousers around his lean hips.
"Give us your dook!"
Lash grinned agreement as be shook the
harry hand of the weather-beaten, sun-
"Stone the crows and stiffen the lizards!"
Rawhide went on. "Jist wait till we git back
to Coolabah Creek. There'll he such celc-
bralin' as will set all the kangaroos jumpin'
into one another's pockets!"
"But first," replied Lash, "we're going to
do some celebrating right here in Sydney.
Come and see the sideshows."'
They walked down the lane between the
noisy, gaudy booths. African Pygmies. The
WallofDeath. ThePitof Adders. And so on.
Lash stopped outside a tent that carried
this crudely-painted sign: "The Living Boy
in Solid Ice. He Speaks. He Eats. He
Drinks. The Marvel of the Age. Admis-
"Just the thing for a scorching day like
this," smiled Lash. "1 think we can spare a
zac to see the marvel of the age." He handed
the money over to the woman at the entrance.
Inside the almost empty tent they stopped,
stared, and laughed at the sight.
On a platform were a number of blocks of
gleaming ice built to form a sort of trans-
parent box with one end open. Inside, a boy
of 14 or 15 lay on a mat. He wore only a
faded flannel shirt and short, tattered trousers.
"Hi, cobbers," greeted the freckle-faced,
curly-headed youngster, sticking his head out
of the opening. He grinned, showing strong,
"We've been had!" cried Rawhide. "We've
been diddled out ofourzacs!"
Lash bent down and looked the smiling
boy straight in the face. The strong, hand-
some teeth were chattering, and the freckled
face was tinged with blue.
The roughrider caught Ihe boy by the
shoulders, hauled him out, and stood him on
bus sturdy feet.
"You're freezing to death in there," said
Lash in a curt but kindly tone.
"But it's me job," wailed the boy. "I'll git
belted if- — "
"What's up?" interrupted a harsh voice.
They turned to see a big. brutal- (coking man
enter the, back of the lent. He was followed
by two more toughs.
"I couldn't help it, Mr. Scow!" cried the
boy in terror. 'This cove— — -™
"Git back in there!" snarled Scow, swing-
ing a heavy boot.
Lash reached out swift hands and caught
the foot in mid-air. He gave it a sharp twist.
Scow yelled, swung round, and fell on his
"Get the kid out of here," ordered Lash to
Rawhide. The Irishman grabbed the boys
arm and hauled him towards the rear exit.
A stream of abuse poured from Scow's lips
as he scrambled to his feet and lunged at Lash
with greal fists swinging wildly.
Tlte roughrider stepped lightly aside, and.
balancing himself like a ballet dancer, turned
on his toes as he swung his open hand in a
swift arc. The side of his Itand caught Scow
just below the ear.
"Ugh!" he grunted, and fell in a semi-
Just as Rawhide and the boy disappeared
through the rear exit. Scow's two beefy
companions flung themselves at Lash.
"Whal's the idea?" panted the boy to
Standing at the back of the tent and
listening to the bangs, grunts, thumps, and
scuffling noises inside. Rawhide chuckled in
reply: "It's only me young friend havin' a
bit of exercise. It's Ihree to one. I know.
But one Lash Lonergan is a multitude of
furies in a fight. If he wants me, he'll
Soon there was silence. Lash emerged from
Ihe lent, limping a little, but smiling
'"Zonk?" queried Rawhide.
"Zonk-zonk-zonk!" laughed Hie rough-
rider. " They're sorting themselves out, and
they'll soon start looking for this young
squib. Come on, ktd."
He took the boy by the arm and started olf.
The lad dragged back, declaring that he had
to return lo Mr. Scow.
"Now listen, Squib," said Lash briskly. "1
can sec you're being booted and banged
about in that sideshow. So come on!"
Before the boy could recover his breath he
was sitting between [asli and Rawhide at a
table in one of Ihe big showground restaur-
ants. Though dazed by ihe suddenness of il
all. he still had a boy's appetite. Wolfing
down the fried steak and onions with sweet
potatoes, he told his story between mouthfuls.
An orphan for as far back as he could
remember, ihe boy had been adopted by an
uncle who was a circus clown. The uncle had
died, the circus was disbanded, and Scow,
the assistant ringmaster, went into the side-
show business, taking the boy with him. It
was then he got the idea of the Living Boy in
"No more of that," Lash assured him.
"But, me flabbcrgastin' lad," began Raw-
hide. "What- — -"
"Pull your head in!" snorted Lash with a
laugh. "From now on it's going to be Lash,
Rawhide and Squib - the Three Dinkum
The Irishman lifted his eyes lo heaven and
sighed: "Stone Ihe crows and stiffen the
lizards! I'll jist have a double responsibility
"Have another helping of passion fruit
jelly," said Lash to Squib, "and I'll tell you
the story of Lash Lonergan.
"Just like you, I'm an orphan who was
adopted by an uncle. My Uncle Peter's got
a place out West called Coolabah Creek. He
breeds cattle and horses. That's where I was
brought up - and I was brought up tough.
"On the day I was seventeen my uncle
chucked me out. He said t was a coward."
"Gawn!" cried Squib in disbelief.
1-ash grinned and weni on: "Uncle's got a
chestnut mare called Chuckle. Ever since 1
can remember he's been terribly proud that
he's the only man on Coolabah Creek Station
who can ride Chuckle. Every now and again
he'd offer ten pounds to anyone on the
station who could stay on her back. They all
tried - and they all came off."
Squib gulped down a mouthful of jelly and
asked: "Did you git thrown, too?"
"Uncle said I was too young to try riding
Chuckle. Bui at night I used to go down to
the paddock and make friends with Iter. It
took months and months, but in the end she
let me get on bareback. Yes, bareback. But
of course. r never let Uncle know.
"Then, the day I was seventeen, he called
me out in front of all the men and said I was
old enough to try to ride Chuckle. And I
"What !** cried the amazed boy.
Rawhide cut in: "Lash could have ridden
her back to front with his hands in his
pockets. But don't you sec it would have
broken Uncle Peter's heart? It was his great
pride that he was the only one who could sit
this rumbustious mare."
Lash went on to describe bow his uncle
said he was ashamed of his own flesh and
blood. Finally he ordered him off the
station, telling him not to return till he'd
proved himself a man.
"Then up steps Rawhide O'Reilly." put in
the Irishman, "and I takes the lad's part.
Uncle Peter gives me a shrivcllin' look and
fells me to do a gii as welt. So before sun-
down we was jisl a couple o' wanderers on
the face o' the earth."
Lash laughed and said: "It all turned out
for the best I was determined to make a
name for myself a champion roughrider and
siockwhip expert - with the help of the best
adviser and friend a man ever had. 1 mean
that hairy Irishman, Rawhide O'Reilly."
"What a heart -rendiit', body-bruisin' three
years the tad has been through," said Rawhide.
"Bui now he's Champion of Champions!"
"And now," said Lash, with a warm smile
for the other two, "we're going back in
triumph to Uncle Peter Lonergan. And this
time there'll be three of us."
At thai very moment. Uncle Peter lay at
the bottom of a ravine 15 miles from the
homestead of Coolabah Creek. Over his life-
less body stood half-a-dozen aborigines,
shaking spears and boomerangs with grief
at the death of one whom they knew as Big
As llicy wailed, they wondered why he-
should be clutching in his hand a piece of
rock that glittered deep purple and ocean
blue and fiery red in the rays of the slanting
The whisper ran through the bush: "Three
fella makem longa Coolabah Creek."
In their own secret and mysterious way,
the aborigines passed on the message as the
three riders ambled along the dusty toad that
led to the far West.
It was three weeks since they had left
Sydney, and they were all looking forward
to the end of their long and arduous ride.
Rawhide let the reins trail on the neck of
his lean and wiry chestnut. Skinny Liz, as he
twanged at his banjo and sang:
"Oh. we ride through the gidyea
And the mulga. scrub.
And across the saltbusli plain,
And" we sing as we go:
With a yo-heave-ho!
Well soon be home again."
On his left rode Lash, mounted on pioud-
slepping Monarch. The third of the trio was
Squib, who rode Patch, a white pony that
Lash had bought for him in Sydney.
"I'll bet the tail o* me shin to a bushel of
emu feathers thai your Uncle Peter will make
you overseer," declared Rawhide.
Squib grinned: "I reckon he'll git a bit of a
surprise when he sees me."
"He'll get a surprise to see all of us,"
replied Lash. "1 haven't written to him to
say we're coming home. I thought it would
be best if "
He stopped short. His keen eye had
caught the glint of sunlight on the twirling
"Duck!" yelled Lash, reaching swiftly for
the stockwhip at his belt.
Rawhide and Squib flattened themselves
on their horses' necks as the curved, slurp-
edged weapon whizzed towards them.
Lash flicked the handle of his whip, and
the thong writhed into the air. The horsehair
lip struck like a snake at the boomerang.
"Bull's-eye!" The boomerang fell Itarm-
lessly at Monarch's feet.
"Into the scrub!" cried Lash. All three
turned their horses towards the mulga trees.
"Them blisterin' myalls!" scowled Raw-
hide, peering ahead into the shimmering
"Mo-poke!" The plaintive notes came
from a nearby patch of sandalwood.
Lash and Rawhide looked at each other
sharply. No tnopoke bird ever called in
broad daylight. It must be Mopoke the
"Mo-poke!" called Lash in a melancholy
A moment later there stepped from behind
a tree a tall and strong young blackfellow.
He wore nothing but a loin-garment of plaited
reeds, and he carried a boomerang and a
The black man beckoned. Then he disap-
peared behind the tree again.
"It's Mopoke alt right" said Lash as he
urged his horse forward.
"What's he playin' hide-and-seek for?"
"No savee," said Rawhides He told the
boy that the aborigine was a good friend of
theirs He was one of a tribe of blacks who
lived in a camp on the outskirts of Coolabah
"Mo-poke!" came the cry from the bush
Riding on, Lash was puzzled by this
strange behaviour. Suddenly they came to a
clearing. Beside a little waterltoie stood
This time the aborigine came forward to
meet his friends. His black face wore a grin
that displayed flashing white teeth.
Suddenly Mopoke's race became grave, and
his voice took on a sad note. As he told his
story in a mixture of English and his own
native words, Lash learned for the first lime
of the death of his Uncle Peter.
Dazed by the news, he listened as in a
dream to the story of how Ihe owner of
Coolabah Creek had been found by some
blacks at the bottom of a ravine. The man's
skull was broken, and he had obviously been
killed instantly by his fall.
When they brought him to the homestead,
he was still clutching a piece of beautiful
"Then mere is more opal up ibcre!" cried
Rawhide. "1 reckon—" ■
"Quiet!" cried Lash with a fierce intensity
that shocked the Irishman into silence.
The aborigine said thai Messiler the fore-
man had taken charge and had arranged the
funeral ai I be nearby sett lem rot called
"Dago Messiler!" snorted Rawhide
furiously. "Why, he — — " The Irishman cut
himself short at Lash's swift glance.
As Mopoke went on with his story, he
became very excited. He used more and more
of his own native words ibal only Lash could
understand. The young rough rider's face
clouded with anger and dismay.
Abruptly the aborigine said: "This fella go
longa walkabout. Goodbye." He turned and
made for Ihe trees.
Lash turned Monarch's head towards
home. "There's trouble ahead," be told his
companions as they made for the road again.
"And the name of that trouble appears to be
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